Summary of WTF

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8 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


O’Reilly Media founder and CEO Tim O’Reilly argues that predicting the future means looking deeply at today’s world. The decisions society makes today about work, education and inequality will determine the shape of tomorrow. As the author says, “Everything is amazing, everything is horrible and it’s all moving too fast.” Addressing fears about rogue AIs and job-stealing robots, O’Reilly comes up with a conceit worthy of a cyberpunk science-fiction novel. He says a rogue “master algorithm” already is in control: the modern version of capitalism. In his metaphor, the participants in today’s market programmed the algorithm to pursue one objective: increase value for shareholders. The market often works against the interests of society and even corporations by sanctioning mass layoffs, offshoring labor and redirecting capital investment from R&D into stock buybacks. How society chooses to address the algorithm will determine if advances like AI and robotics will be a boon or a bane. O’Reilly is a knowledgeable, entertaining polemicist who steers clear of technical jargon, though he indulges occasionally in techno-utopian evangelism. getAbstract recommends his report to entrepreneurs, managers, policy makers and labor activists. It seems likely to provoke a lively conversation.

In this book, you will learn

  • How to extrapolate information from current trends to predict the future;
  • Why the most significant trends begin on the fringes; and
  • How to prepare for likely changes in technology, the economy and the nature of work.

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